A talented young swimmer was driven to depression and anxiety by anti-gay slurs in school. He left his small rural hometown to attend university in another state where he found his swimming valued and his homosexuality accepted.
Such is the story Bryce Fehringer tells about why he left Colorado to swim for the University of South Dakota. The second-year Coyote swimmer tells SBNation’s Outsports that USD grabbed his attention with this sports recruitment video spotlighting inclusivity:
Fehringer says he didn’t dive into Vermillion just because of this video:
…Still, I was thrilled to see that a Division I University in the rural Midwest was so progressive in promoting equal playing opportunities for all their student-athletes.
I discovered that there were both present and former gay athletes who had shown success as they made their way through the USD program. I knew that if they had been able to live openly and be successful, that there was a chance that I could too.
One of the main reasons why I chose South Dakota was because I knew that I would be able to grow into the person that I wanted to be [Bryce Fehringer, “What This Gay Univ. of South Dakota Athlete’s Coach Said to Him Made All the Difference,” SBNation Outsports, 2017.08.08].
South Dakota, more tolerant than Colorado. Imagine that.